Myanmar limits inmates’ visitors

Originally published by Min Wathan – Myanmar Times on 29/03/2020


Jails in Myanmar are implementing a number of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Inmates at jails across Myanmar will be allowed only one visitor each during regular visiting days, whereas before prisoners were allowed three visitors. Additional steps include regularly conducting campaigns to teach prisoners how to prevent COVID-19 infection and regularly disinfecting cells. The director of the Prisons Department also noted that prison staff also practice proper hygiene before reporting for work, such as frequent handwashing, and that if they find suspected COVID-19 cases they promptly inform the health department and follow instructions.The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners urged the government to release some prisoners as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 because a reduction in the prisoner population is one of the important factors in preventing a virus outbreak. They suggested that courts should consider granting bail for the temporary liberty of the inmates while their cases are heard. Additionally, in some cases, they recommended that the government should consider granting amnesty to prisoners.

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